The cases in which the UAE Labor Law allows denial of annual leave

rawda samy - | UAE

Is it permissible for employers in the UAE to refuse yearly leave because of other employees' absences?

The United Arab Emirates Labor Law allows for the denial of yearly leave in certain situations.

Could certain circumstances lead to the denial of the employee's annual vacation time?

I currently work for a company in Dubai. I submitted a request for time off for the upcoming summer break, but my boss declined it due to another employee's concurrent absence from the office. Is this even legal? Not only have I already made alternative travel arrangements, but I have also already purchased and paid for my tickets.

The employer in the United Arab Emirates has the discretion to determine the dates of yearly leave for employees who are on rotation based on their work requirements. This aligns with the guidelines outlined in Article 29 (4) of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, commonly referred to as the "UAE Employment Law."

The employee must utilize his leave within the year for which he is eligible. The employer has the ability to determine the dates of leave in accordance with the work requirements and the employee's agreement. Alternatively, the employer can opt to rotate leaves among employees to guarantee uninterrupted work. The employer must notify the employee of his leave date at least one month in advance.

The UAE Labor Law permits the denial of annual leave in certain cases.

In some circumstances, the United Arab Emirates Labor Law allows for the refusal of yearly leave.

Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide an employee with annual leave at least once every two years, unless the employee chooses to carry forward the annual leave or receives payment from the employer in place of taking vacation. The UAE Employment Law states the following in Article 29(8):

The law in question states that the employer cannot prevent the employee from using his accumulated annual leave for more than two years, unless the employee wishes to carry it over or receive payment in lieu of leave in accordance with the Establishment bylaws and as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree Law.

According to the job needs and the yearly leave rotation of the company's other employees, it is possible that your employer is correct in declining your request for annual leave. Alternatively, if your employer has agreed to grant you annual leave in writing, your company may be required to pay for the tickets you have already purchased to travel during your leave.

The United Arab Emirates Employment Law and subsequent ministerial decrees remain silent regarding the remedies available to employees in situations such as these. We recommend that in the future, you obtain written pre-approval from your employer for your annual leave, and then plan your yearly vacation based on this approval. This will prevent you from incurring any financial losses.

The law that appliesThe Federal Government has issued Legal Decree No. 33 of 2021 to regulate employment relations.

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